The National Finals for the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest are at COSI, in Columbus, Ohio 43215. The challenge is for participants to make a complicated machine to perform a simple task.
Our Founder and CEO of Autonomy Hub and Vice-president of Robotics Education for the Tesla Foundation was asked to speak at this year's finals.
"These incredibly talented innovators must be creative, problem solvers, communicators, work as a team, lead and, above all, demonstrate tenacity and perseverance. The Rube Goldberg Machine Contest is a special event capturing the imagination of a renowned cartoonist and his infamous character, Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts. The antics and contraptions of the Professor came alive in 1914. His drawings inspired a movement that grows each passing year. I am sure all in attendance are there to watch and cheer on these competitors. I find it an honor to share the stage with them and speak to these innovators of all ages. As we all hold a piece of the magic depicted in the Rube Goldberg comics...each of us are innovators in our own way."
This year, the tradition continues as participants are to complete the task of creating a machine made out of common everyday objects capable of applying a BAND-AID bandage. The overarching goal is to inspire students to develop the resiliency to achieve the task or goal at hand.
The contest is rooted in getting kids to disconnect from their laptops and tablets by engaging them in team-centric social activities that use all aspects of the education system. The Rube Goldberg competition is one of the most difficult projects to create and execute; but participants express that it is the most rewarding, in the end.
The contest has both live and online divisions for a variety of age groups, so students all over the world can compete. For the live version of the contest, students compete first in a local competition, working their way to the Finals at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus, Ohio on March 24-26, 2017.
For those who would like to enter or host a Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, I encourage you to visit https://www.rubegoldberg.com/contests/ to learn more. You can also watch this video from Wisconsin Public Television